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50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.

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50. Friend, for what purpose comest thou? Luke expresses it more fully: Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? except that there is greater force in this reproof, that the benevolence of his Master, and the very high honor conferred on him, are wickedly abused for the purpose of the basest treachery. For Christ does not employ an ironical address when he calls him friend, but charges him with ingratitude, that, from being an intimate friend, who sat at his table, he had become a traitor, as had been predicted in the psalm: If a stranger had done this, I could have endured it; but now my private and familiar friend, with whom I took food pleasantly, who accompanied me to the temple of the Lord, hath prepared snares against me. 214214     Our Author, quoting from memory, has blended two passages of a kindred spirit: Psalm 41:10, and Psalm 55:12, 13, 14. — Ed. This shows clearly—what I hinted a little ago—that, whatever may be the artifices by which hypocrites conceal themselves, and whatever may be the pretenses which they hold out, when they come into the presence of the Lord, their crimes become manifest; and it even becomes the ground of a severer sentence against them, that, having been admitted into the bosom of Christ, they treacherously rise up against him. For the word friend, as we have stated, contains within itself a sharp sting.

Let us know that this evil, which Christ once sustained in his own person, is an evil to which the Church will always be exposed—that of cherishing traitors in her bosom; and, therefore, it was said a little before, The traitor approached, who was one of the twelve, that we may not be immediately distressed by such instances; for the Lord intends to try our faith in both ways, when, without, Satan opposes us and the Church by open enemies, and, within, he attempts secret destruction by means of hypocrites. We are taught, at the same time, that we who are his disciples ought to worship God with sincerity; for the apostasies, which we see every day, excite us to fear, and to the cultivation of true godliness, as Paul says,

Let every one that calleth on the name of God depart from iniquity,
(2 Timothy 2:19.)

We are all commanded to kiss the Son of God, (Psalm 2:12;) and we ought, therefore, to see that no one give him a traitor’s kiss, otherwise it will cost us dear to have been elevated to so great an honor.




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